Choosing a Continuing Care Retirement Community

Choosing a Continuing Care Retirement Community

If you’re a senior planning your future, it’s worth taking a closer look at continuing care retirement community (CCRC) options. Sometimes referred to as a life plan community, this type of retirement living provides progressive levels of residential care on a single campus, so residents can move from one level of care to another without having to relocate.

What is the advantage of CCRC?

Typically, CCRCs offer independent living apartments or free-standing cottages, assisted living and nursing home care—and sometimes memory care—in one location. Continual care retirement community may also enjoy amenities such as a fitness center, pool and lecture hall.

The appeal for many seniors is the idea of having a full continuum of care in one place. But the cost of a CCRC can be prohibitive. Residents typically pay an entrance fee (typically from the sale of a home) and monthly charges, which can increase as care needs change. Often, the fees can be covered by long term care insurance benefits or by using money saved up for retirement.

It’s important to carefully review a CCRC contract, which can be lengthy and complex. An attorney or financial adviser is recommended. Also, a visit to the community and a tour of the services offered is critical.

The biggest concern, Pearson says, is that the community has the exclusive right or shared right to transfer you from your current living area to the next level of care—even if you and your family disagree with the decision. If you’re concerned about that, look for a CCRC with a strong consumer advocacy arm to represent you.

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